Compuware sells itself to Thoma Bravo for about $2.5B

Compuware, a 40-year old software company with roots in the mainframe era,  has been acquired by Thoma Bravo in a deal valued at about $2.5 billion.  Earlier on Tuesday morning the Wall Street Journal reported that a deal with an unknown private equity firm was imminent.

Per the terms of the agreement, which is pending shareholder approval, Compuware shareholders will get about $10.92 per share, a premium of about 17 percent on the share price as of August 29, 2014.

Chicago-based Thoma Bravo has about$7.5 billion under management and recently took a large stake in identity and access management player Sailpoint.

Compuware, like [company]CA[/company] and [company]BMC[/company] and other companies from the mainframe and client-server eras, has been trying to reinvent itself for the web world, most notably by acquiring Gomez, a web performance monitoring company in 2009, for $290 million. It also bought Dynatrace for $256 million two years later  to bolster its application performance monitoring (APM) portfolio.

In late 2012, [company]Elliott Management[/company], a hedge fund and activist investor that shook things up at BMC and more recently turned its sights on EMC, launched a not-very-friendly $2.3 billion takeover bid for Compuware. That dustup was smoothed over in early 2014 when Compuware named two Elliott-backed directors to its board. BMC’s past may be prologue here: Elliott’s involvement helped push BMC to sell itself to Bain Capital and Golden Gate Capital for $6.9 billion in May 2013.

Compuware shares were up nearly 14 percent to $9.35 at one point Tuesday morning. The Journal story, citing unnamed sources, said there was a chance any pact could still fall apart.

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This story was updated at 8:59 a.m. PST to reflect that Thoma Bravo was the buyer and to include more details about the acquisition.